The ‘House’ That Marlon Built
4 months ago
Actor’s latest film is a testament to his journey as a standout in the Wayans family brand
Fart jokes, scrunched up facial expressions, raunchy sex humor and bruising physical antics don’t sound – or smell – like a recipe for success.
But for Marlon Wayans, star and co-writer of the new horror and romantic comedy, “A Haunted House,” those ingredients could mean a hit for the 40-year-old “man-child” member of the Wayans family.
Marlon believes his success is born out of his failures. He’s had a career full of trial and error projects, some quite successful. All of it has culminated in the launching of this classical slapstick horror flick parody, which cements his place among the best physically comedic actors in Hollywood.
“This is like my Michael Jackson ‘Off The Wall’ album,” Marlon said after a screening of the film in New York City on Thursday. “This is the first time I really got to do me…I got to make the decisions, along with my producer partner Mike Alvarez…It was kind of like I grew up.
“And hopefully it will be successful. It will be my 'Off The Wall' – [and] if not, then it’s Jermaine Jackson’s ‘Let’s Get Serious,’” Marlon joked.
The movie, which opened in theaters nationwide on Friday, is a dig at the faux found footage franchise, “Paranormal Activity,” and co-stars stand-up comedy veteran Cedric the Entertainer, Essence Atkins of TV’s “Half & Half,” and "Anchorman’s" David Koechner.
It follows Marlon’s character, Malcolm, who lets his girlfriend Keisha (Atkins) move into his suburban Los Angeles home, only to discover that she has brought with her an evil paranormal demon. The spirit terrorizes the couple for a month and it’s all caught on a camcorder and a home surveillance video system.
This flick is definitely raunchy. It contains a couple of moments that will undoubtedly make some in the anti-domestic violence and LGBT communities squirm in their seats. But anyone who doesn’t get several hysterical laughs out of the comedic riffing by Marlon and Cedric should immediately check their pulse.
The more cynical members of the moviegoing audience might assume that "A Haunted House" is yet another Wayans overdose on tasteless toilet humor and profanity. But the movie strikes a balance between slapstick and notes of a romantic comedy.
This is perhaps a slight departure from Marlon’s (and his brother Shawn’s) well-known parodies of intentionally scary horror flicks like 2000’s “Scary Movie” and 2001’s “Scary Movie 2.” Though they were box office hits, as was 2004’s non-parody “White Chicks,” much of Marlon’s other silver screen work has not been a smash at the box office.